FARMINGTON — Piedra Vista and Aztec were the top two softball teams in 4A throughout 2014, so it comes as no surprise those squads led the way in All-State selections.
The Lady Panthers and Lady Tigers filled 15 of the 20 spots on the New Mexico High School Coaches Association 4A All-State teams last week.
PV had seven players named to the squads, with six first-team selections and one second-team selection. Aztec had eight — three first-team and five second team.
"That's the reason we've been the last two teams playing the last three years," PV head coach Kevin Werth said of the two schools, which have played for the last three 4A state championships.
Seniors Danielle Ortiz (outfield), Tabor Woosley (outfield) and Breanna Salas (first base) closed out their high school careers with the first-team honor after helping PV defeat Aztec 12-3 to capture the school's ninth consecutive state title.
The trio was joined by their teammates junior Tegan Woosley (shortstop) and sophomores Autumn Begay (second base) and Megan Risner (pitcher) on the first team.
PV sophomore Kieyoomia Benally (third base) received a spot on the second team.
"It's nice for the girls to be recognized like that," Werth said.
For Aztec, senior Alix Johnson (third base) and juniors Hailey Morris (outfield) and Taylor Santistevan (catcher) claimed three first-team places for the Lady Tigers.
Senior Angela Minjarez (pitcher), junior McKinzie Reid (outfield) and freshmen Kylie Brown (first base), Paige Adair (second base) and CheyAnn Simkins (shortstop) were placed on the second-team for Aztec.
Aztec head coach Jose Santistevan said having six of the eight all-state players returning will give his team a head start going into next year.
"I'm very proud of those girls," he said. "Being on the list is an accomplishment and to know next year we'll have six coming back is a big help."
In total, 10 PV or Aztec All-state Selections will return for the 2015 season, and Santistevan sees the two teams battling it out for the state title again next year.
"I don't see it changing any time soon," he said. "There will be teams that get their shots in, but our girls are battle tested, and the cream seems to rise to the top."
Bernalillo pitcher Demitria Magdelena was the only player in 4A not from a PV or Aztec to be named to the first team.
Farmington outfielder Sarah Huffhines was the lone Lady Scorpion on the second team.
In 3A, Bloomfield juniors Jasmine Sappington (first base) and Chelsey Runyon (third base) earned first team places for the Lady Bobcats.
Sappington and Runyon both played key roles in the Lady Bobcats earning a No. 3 seed in the 3A state playoffs and winning the District 1-3A title.
"They both deserving of that honor," Bloomfield head coach Andi Clark said. "They'll be a contributing factor for us next year."
Sappington's defense and Runyon's hitting ability were important to the Lady Bobcats all season, Clark said.